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Scooter Pursley / Special to The Forum, Published March 15 2014

Fargo Davies' Kretchman named Mr. Basketball

MINOT, N.D. – It takes a lot for a high school kid to impress a former Mr. Basketball who happens to be his head coach.

Consider Fargo Davies coach and 1991 Mr. Basketball Bart Manson thoroughly impressed by senior guard Tanner Kretchman, whose record-setting 45 points earned his team a berth in the state Class A semifinals.

Davies and Kretchman went on to win the state championship.

Consider the state’s media equally impressed, as Kretchman came within two votes of being unanimously selected this year’s North Dakota Mr. Basketball.

The 5-foot-11 Kretchman received 11 first-place votes and 61 points to win in a landslide. He is believed to be the first Mr. Basketball to play for a Mr. Basketball.

“I’m always wowed by him,” Manson said. “He’s just an amazing player. I’ve watched him play three years and the things he could do and things he’s still doing, to me that’s what’s been amazing about his career.”

Kretchman, who moved to Fargo from Kindred, N.D., three years ago, went over 700 points for the season during the state tournament.

Kretchman brushes off all talk of his individual accomplishments.

“Most of our goals are team and doing whatever it takes to win games,” Kretchman said.

Winning the Mr. Basketball award is just one of the meaningful things that happened to Kretchman. Last weekend, his younger brother, Carter, won a state Class B title with Fargo Oak Grove.

“That’s been another really special thing about this year,” Kretchman said. “They won state and that’s just awesome. It’s been a great year for our family.”

Other finalists for the award were 6-foot-6 guard Tyler Rudolph of Bismarck Century, 6-1 guard Ben Weisbeck of Bismarck St. Mary’s, 6-4 forward Tanner Holte of Des Lacs-Burlington and 6-3 guard-forward Briton Bussman of Milnor.

For the season, Kretchman averaged 29.2 points, 5 assists and 2.3 steals. He shot 52 percent and had 56 3-pointers.

“He has put so much time and effort into the game. He is truly one of the purest shooters I’ve seen play in this state in a long time,” Manson said. “He’s going to have a 700-point season, which is incredible in Class A basketball.”

Bussman averaged 28.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting 62 percent. He was selected Class B Senior Player of the Year by coaches. Bussman received 21 points.

Rudolph averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds. He received one first-place vote and 17 points in the voting.

Weisbeck averaged 21.4 points and 2.4 assists. He also received a first-place vote and 16 points.

Holte averaged 21.7 points and 9.8 rebounds. He received two points.

The award is presented annually by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association to the top senior basketball player in the state.